Gerard ’t Hooft
Gerardus ’t Hooft is a Dutch theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate. He shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics with Martinus Veltman. Since his Nobel Prize, ‘t Hooft received numerous awards, honorary doctorates and honorary professorships. He was knighted commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, and officer in the French Legion of Honor. The asteroid 9491 Thooft has been named in his honor, and he has written a constitution for its future inhabitants. Born and raised in the Netherlands, ’t Hooft studied theoretical physics and mathematics at Utrecht University, where in 1977 he became Professor of theoretical physics. He spent several sabbatical periods in Harvard, Stanford, Caltech and Durham, North Caroline. His early work with Veltman involved the question: how to renormalize the forces due to vector particles (particles with spin 1) in the formalism of relativistic quantized fields. Later, he turned his attention to the deepest remaining mystery in particle physics: how to “quantize” the gravitational force, and what the role should be of sub-microscopic black holes in this question. ‘t Hooft is Ambassador of the highly ambitious “Mars One” project, an attempt to realize the first human colony on Mars.
(Photo credit: Ed van Rijswijk)